Murine Monoclonal Antibodies Biologically Active against the Amino Region of HIV-1 gp120: Isolation and Characterization

Dickey, Chad; Ziegner, Ulrike; Agadjanyan, P Michael G.; Srikantan, Vasantha; Refaeli, Yosef; Prabhu, Ashwin; Sato, Alice; Williams, William V.; Weiner, David B.; Ugen, Kenneth E.
April 2000
DNA & Cell Biology;Apr2000, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p243
Academic Journal
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 envelope glycoprotein is synthesized as a precursor (gp160) and subsequently cleaved to generate the external gp120 and transmembrane gp41 glycoproteins. Both gp120 and gp41 have been demonstrated to mediate critical functions of HIV, including viral attachment and fusion with the cell membrane. The antigenic variability of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein has presented a significant problem in the design of appropriate and successful vaccines and offers one explanation for the ability of HIV to evade immune surveillance. Therefore, the development and characterization of functional antibodies against conserved regions of the envelope glycoprotein is needed. Because of this need, we generated a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MuMabs) against the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. To accomplish this, we immunized Balb/C mice with a recombinant glycoprotein 160 (gp160) that was synthesized in a baculovirus expression system. From the growth-positive hybridomas, three MuMabs were generated that demonstrated significant reactivity with recombinant gp120 but failed to show reactivity against HIV-1 gp41, as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Using vaccinia constructs that synthesize variant truncated subunits of gp160, we were able to map reactivity of all three of the Mabs (ID6, AC4, and AD3) to the first 204 residues of gp120 (i.e., the N terminus of gp120) via Western blot analysis. Elucidation of the epitopes for these Mabs may have important implications for inhibition of infection by HIV-1. Our initial attempts to map these Mabs with linear epitopes have not elucidated a specific antigenic determinant; however, several physical characteristics have been determined that suggest a continuous surface epitope. Although these antibodies failed to neutralize cell-free or cell-associated infection by HIV-1, they did mediate significant antibodydependent cellular cytotoxity (ADCC) activity, indicating potential therapeutic utility. In summary, these data suggest the identification of a potentially novel site in the first 200 aa of gp120 that mediates ADCC.


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